The Peony Palace

I've been obsessed with peonies for as long as I can remember. Because they are usually pink!

I purchased these really amazing fake ones (yuck, I know!) from Crate and Barrel a few years ago that were pretty realistic and I was always terribly excited when people would ask if they were real. So then I could be all "NO! They are fake and I got them on clearance at the Crate and Barrel" because they are fabulous! 

So it seemed a little weird that we would end up unknowingly purchasing a house with 80+ peony bushes in the yard.

We closed on the house in February and our neighbor Sara had us over for dinner with her family and she was talking about the gardens at our house and she jokingly said we should call it the "Peony Palace" because it is covered in peonies in June. Turns out, she wasn't kidding!

Everything was dead and overgrown when we moved in so we didn’t really know what the yard looked like since it was winter.

We cut all the dead plants and debris to the ground and hauled it off to the town garden waste thing. 

Then in April, the magic started to happen...
I honestly wasn't sure what they were when they first started to come up. I had never seen claws come out of the ground before. Especially red claws. I was like "great we've purchased some crazy satanic cult house that grows demons in the front yard" but then the bushes got bigger and then the blooms started to pop.

 Satan fingers.  

Satan fingers.  

 The prettiest mold bushes, ever! 

The prettiest mold bushes, ever! 

I am very sad to say that I DO NOT love the actual peony bushes. They are incredibly gorgeous. Like you can't even photograph how beautiful the colors are because it just never looks like it does in person. Then the flowers die and you have 80+ bushes of dead peonies slowly decaying around in the yard. 

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There is a bit of variety around the house and along the front walkway. It pretty much goes peony bush, black-eyed Susan, phlox, weeds, repeat. It’s pretty boring. The phlox is pretty but the black-eyed Susan’s are those cheap-basic-bitch ones with the pointy leaves... ugh.

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My goal for next year is to plant other varieties in with the peonies so that there is color after the peonies are dead. 

I’m getting ready to plant 200+ bulbs next week if it ever stops raining... rough month in northeastern Iowa! 

The peonies sure are glorious for their brief little life! 

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